Sure, it's Kobe Bryant's team and his turn-back-the-clock season has steered the ship, but all the Lakers' hopes for glory rests on Howard's broad shoulders.
You know what you're getting from Bryant every night. The same can be said for Steve Nash and Pau Gasol (since we know his role on this team will be diminished no matter his health status). Only Howard has the ability to bump the Lakers up a notch by ratcheting up his game to Superman level.
Until Bryant and Gasol return to 100 percent, the onus is on Howard even more now to carry the team for this crucial stretch.
For the time being, the Lakers still control their own playoff destiny. Here are five things Howard must do to ensure they secure a postseason berth.